Rainy-Day Fund Plan for California Will Go on November Ballot

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The last time California voters approved a rainy-day fund plan, in 2004, they didn’t get what they bargained for. The state barely saved any money during successive budget crises and lurched through the recession with costly borrowing, new taxes and service cuts.


Gov. Jerry Brown discusses a proposed rainy-day-fund plan alongside John A. Perez (D-Los Angeles), then the Assembly speaker, in April. (Credit: Associated Press)

Now Democrats and Republicans in the Capitol say they have a better plan for cushioning the state from economic downturns and stabilizing its notoriously rocky finances. The Legislature unanimously approved the measure Thursday, and it will be placed on the ballot in November for voters to consider.

John A. PĂ©rez (D-Los Angeles), who championed the proposal while he was Assembly speaker, said the proposed constitutional amendment “will help break the bad habits of the past” and “put California on a solid financial footing in the years ahead.”

The measure is the result of bipartisan negotiations during a special legislative session convened by Gov. Jerry Brown, who is running for reelection this year and trying to cement his reputation as a cautious steward of California’s finances.

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